Abortion Advocates Lobby for Free Birth Control Pills Under Obama Health Care

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 1, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Abortion Advocates Lobby for Free Birth Control Pills Under Obama Health Care

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
June 1
, 2010

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Planned Parenthood has quietly launched a move to exploit the provisions of the pro-abortion health care bill President Barack Obama signed into law. The abortion business has launched a new effort designed to secure free birth control pills for women at taxpayer expense.

An amendment pro-abortion Sen. Barbara Mikulski attached to the health care bill allows "additional preventive care and screenings" for women to be covered by the government-run plan.

Federal officials are now determining what constitutes that additional preventative care and Planned Parenthood is pushing the government to include birth control pills. During the health care debate, pro-life groups worried the abortion business would push for abortions to be labeled preventative care and that could still happen.

Laurie Rubiner, Planned Parenthood’s vice president of public policy, talked about the move with Politico today.

“We see this as a tremendous opportunity to get no-cost birth control in the bill and ensure that this part of women’s health is covered under preventive health,” she said.

Planned Parenthood has set up a new web site to collect stories from women about their desire for free birth control and using the drugs and this information will later be used to push the Obama administration to include birth control coverage in the plan.

“This needs to be based on science and medical evidence, but … it is also really important to hear the stories of how women view birth control, the health impact and the affordability issue,” Rubiner said.

“Certainly, we have a very large, grass-roots organization interested in making an impact,” Rubiner said. “It’s a very tangible thing for women and something they will really support.”

The debate will come to a head by September 23, Politico indicates, when many health insurance plans will be required to provide free preventive services coverage sans co-pays or out-of-pocket costs. Until then, the Health Resources and Services Administration must draw up guidelines on what is covered.

The abortion backers are getting help from the sponsor of the amendment.

“Her intention was to have preventive services provided for women at no additional cost, no deductibles,” Mikulski spokeswoman Rachel MacKnight said. “From her perspective, that includes everything from heart disease screening and diabetes screening to mammograms to birth control.”

But some pro-life groups, including the Catholic bishops, will oppose the move.

Richard Doerflinger of the conference’s Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities told Politico, “Congressional debate on the need to cover ‘preventive services’ in health care reform centered on services needed to prevent life-threatening diseases like breast cancer, not on a need to prevent the birth of new recipients of health care."

“Requiring contraception and sterilization in all private health plans would be an enormous imposition on the consciences of religious organizations and others who now have the right to purchase a health plan in accord with their moral and religious values," he said.

HRSA communications director Martin Kramer told the news service he could not say whether birth control will be covered or not.

Conservative writer Ed Morrissey of Hot Air says he thinks it would be disingenuous to include birth control pills in the health care scheme.

"Is the Pill preventive, in the sense meant when preventive medicine got debated during ObamaCare? Not at all. Democrats specifically called out early diagnosis of diseases such as diabetes to argue that ObamaCare would be an overall cost saver," he points out.

"A subsequent CBO analysis showed that argument to be a fallacy, but that didn’t stop them from making it repeatedly and consistently during the debate. That never included an explicit argument that lowering the birth rate would be an overall cost-saver, or that it was a legitimate government interest to suppress the birth rate," Morrissey added.


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